“The Grammy Awards for classical music are irrelevant: I, and many others, have been saying that for years,” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (2/8) Washington Post. “But … calling the awards irrelevant strikes me as imprecise.… The real issue for orchestras is that the classical Grammys have never really reflected what happens in the concert hall…. This … is changing. These days, the classical Grammys are much more closely linked to live orchestral performance…. ‘We want to record the works that haven’t been overexposed,’ says Krishna Thiagarajan, the new president and chief executive of the Seattle Symphony…. Many [orchestras] have autonomy over what they record. Of the five Grammy nominees for best orchestral performance this year, three were released on the orchestras’ own labels (Seattle, Pittsburgh and San Francisco). Recording has always had advantages for orchestras. ‘You have to prepare differently and be at the top of your game,’ says Alan D. Valentine, president and chief executive of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra…. To date, the orchestra has won 13 Grammy awards…. Obviously, orchestras aren’t recording solely to win Grammys. But a Grammy win does help an orchestra gain currency and attention … and … encourages the recording of new music.”

Posted February 8, 2019